In his book The America We Deserve, Donald Trump (or his writer David Shipley) wrote “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.” If America elects Donald Trump, they’ll get the president they deserve. A man who now proclaims “Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.” Notice the “loophole” in that statement . . .
What constitutes “good, honest” people? In the same way that the enemies of firearms freedom clocked the Supreme Court’s thumbs-up for “reasonable regulations,” using it to justify all of their gun control schemes, the antis could take that “good, honest people” ball and run with it — all the way to the civilian disarmament end zone.
Now you could say that Mr. Trump had a ballistic come-to-Jesus moment sometime in the last 16 years. With a few exceptions, the NRA could have written his website’s gun control policy page. As Mr. Trump regularly remarks when he’s called out on his flip-flops on various issues (e.g., partial birth abortion), conservative icon Ronald Reagan’s thinking on several important issues also “evolved” over time.
Hang on. That would be the same Ronald Reagan who signed California gun control laws. The same president who elevated the inherently anti-gun rights ATF to agency status. The same Ronald Reagan who wrote this in The New York Times in support of the Brady Background Check bill’s “cooling off period” (eventually struck from the Bill):
Since many handguns are acquired in the heat of passion (to settle a quarrel, for example) or at times of depression brought on by potential suicide, the Brady bill would provide a cooling-off period that would certainly have the effect of reducing the number of handgun deaths . . .
This level of violence must be stopped. Sarah and Jim Brady are working hard to do that, and I say more power to them. If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land.
So, not a friend of ours. But then, who is? Whoever it is — and I’ll let you debate the pro-2A stances of the other Republican contenders for the presidential nomination — it isn’t Senator Bernie Sanders or former First Lady Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat who ascribes to the their party’s national platform (calling for the aforementioned “reasonable regulations”).
I know where TTAG readers stand on gun rights. I hope our readers “vote their guns” and support only those candidates who stand four-square for firearms freedom. But that’s not how America rolls. If you have any doubts on that score, I draw your attention to an article at csmonitor.com entitled In Hillary Clinton’s landslide S.C. win, an asterisk on gun control. Check out this bit:
South Carolina Democrats interviewed at Saturday’s polls offer something of a middle view on gun rights – supportive of the right to bear arms, but feeling that a line has been crossed and needs to be addressed.
Twenty-something Graham Holson pulls up to vote in Edgefield, S.C., in a jacked-up white pickup truck with a goofy pit bull riding shotgun. He claims he has “tons of guns – handguns, rifles, you name it.” A self-described white “country boy,” he also has a concealed carry permit, which means, “You won’t know when I’m carrying, which is how it should be.”
Yet Mr. Holson, a Sanders supporter, joined other primary voters, most of them African-American, in welcoming Clinton’s foray into the gun culture wars, suggesting, in his view, that America’s gun violence might be softening some hard-line views on gun ownership.
He said he’s open to stricter background checks to weed out “potential nut cases” and even reviving the Bill-Clinton-era assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004 after 10 years.
“As a country we’re becoming a cultural no-man’s-land where every house is a militia, and that’s not good,” says Holson. “Also, I don’t understand these banana clips that are this long – I have no need to kill 20 people in 20 seconds.”
I tried to find Mr. Holson to see if that is, indeed, what he said. It seems highly implausible and all-too-convenient. In any case, as our readers agreed in a recent post (Question of the Day: Is There a “Middle Ground” On Guns?), there is no “middle view” on Americans’ natural, civil or Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. You’re either for it or agin’ it. The “middle view” is nothing more than code for a diminution of that inalienable right.
I’m more interested in Mr. Holson’s statement that “every house is a militia.” Taking our cue from the Second Amendment, it’s true: every house is a militia. We the People are a militia.
That’s the entire point of the Second Amendment: every armed American is part of a collective force that defends themselves, their family, their friends, their community and their country from enemies both foreign and domestic. Every law that infringes on their individual ability to keep and bear arms, which is every gun control law written, is unconstitutional. Full stop.
The NRA and other gun rights groups oppose gun control proposals on principle, saying they’re all part of a slippery slope toward all-out gun confiscation. Moreover, tightening gun-ownership restrictions are likely to be used by the government to target certain kinds of people for confiscation, they believe.
“That’s silly,” says Kent Bacon, a former Edgefield County commissioner, who voted on Saturday for Clinton. “Nobody is talking about taking people’s guns away, in part because the country wouldn’t stand for it. Heck, I wouldn’t stand for it. But that doesn’t mean we just sit here and do nothing.”
If only people like Mr. Bacon would sit there and do nothing. Specifically, vote.
While Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is not subject to the democratic process, the truth is that it is. If nothing else, the voters who elect the next president will place in power the man or woman who will replace Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court Justice who helped form a firewall for firearms freedom. A liberal Judge would be an unmitigated disaster, gun rights-wise.
Deborah Holloway, an African-American union organizer in Aiken, S.C. . . . says people should absolutely be able to own a handgun for self-defense, but only if they meet a high standard of responsibility and good citizenship.
“Guns in the wrong hands is really the issue.”
Is it? The issue is who decides whose hands are the wrong hands? Voters who support any form of gun control support all forms of gun control, including confiscation, whether they know it or not. The candidates know this, but they’re not about to say it, are they? Not Hillary Clinton. And not Donald Trump. The lesser of two evils?